Yesterday we visited the Degas/Paris Millinery exhibit up at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  It was the last day and I’m so very grateful that my friend Lynne just happened to mention it to me.  What a great show!  I would have hated to miss it.  I loved that it not only had a collection of Impressionistic works featuring hats, but they also had a collection of the actual hats on display, as well as old film clips with women modeling them.    At the turn of the century, hat designing and creating in Paris was a whole art form in and of itself.  Degas recognized their artistry, loved them and featured not only the hats in his paintings, but also a lot of the people who were involved in their creation.  He is one of my favorite Impressionists and it was SUCH a privilege to stand just a few feet away and sketch from several of his paintings.  I had to add the color later (they don’t like wet media in the exhibit itself), but I was able to use a sketch & wash pencil and and my water brush (shhh) for the portrait of Henri Rouart (above) and the back view of Mary Cassatt (right.) I added in the color later & I painted in the hats and the portrait of Mary Cassatt  later from phone photos that I took.  I have to say, my heart was beating fast while I sketched and people were jostling all around me, just because it’s so amazing to be that close to such art from a master.  And people aren’t really interested in what I’m doing, because of the very same thing:  they have all this great art that they are enjoying.  I especially enjoyed the pictures of Mary Cassatt, one of the brave and few woman Impressionists.  She and Degas were great friends and even exchanged art with each other.  Degas painted a picture of her at the art gallery, enjoying looking at the paintings, just like I was doing  – and I found it a fun connection.  The portrait is the only official portrait he painted of her and apparently she didn’t care for it (!!).  She was leaning forward with her arms on her knees and she felt it made her look masculine.  Then again, I felt a connection – which of us women aren’t dissatisfied  with pictures of ourselves??!!

2 Comments for :
    • Marji
    • September 25, 2017

    Ruth, I was at the Met in NYC last week and enjoyed many Mary Cassat paintings! So nice to see your jounaling pages since I missed the Degas exhibit. Doesn’t it always seem like there will be plenty of time to get up to them?

      • Ruth Korch
      • September 27, 2017

      You’re so right. And then it just kind of sneaks up on you!! But what a nice trade off – The Met!!!!

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